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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Florida edges LSU to return to SEC Championship

1271 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Michael Wade

Notes & Quotes

HOOVER, Ala. -- Defending tournament champion Florida shut out No. 5 seed LSU in a 1-0 win to advance to the SEC Championship for the third straight year and 14th time in program history. This was just the fifth 1-0 game in SEC Tournament history.

"It was exciting," said Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "We have played LSU five times in a week-and-a-half. The games have been exciting and really good. To be able to shut them out is hard to do in any year, especially this year. Our pitching was outstanding. I'm really happy for Scott Moss. We're excited to play one more day."

The Tigers and the Gators were held scoreless through five innings. Florida starter Scott Moss (3-0) and LSU starter Caleb Gilbert (4-4) both retired three straight in the first frame.

LSU recorded its first hit in the second on a single by Beau Jordan, but no runs were scored. Florida answered in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles, but a double play and fly out kept the game at 0-0.

LSU stranded a runner on third in the top of the next inning. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Beau Jordan made a diving catch to rob Buddy Reed of a hit, ending the frame.

Both teams were kept off the board in the fourth and fifth innings.

Florida scored the lone run in the bottom of the sixth. Dalton Guthrie hit a single to third and advanced to second on a Mike Rivera groundout. The Gators' go-ahead run came when Jonathan India hit an RBI double to bring Guthrie across the plate.

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri promptly called Doug Norman from the bullpen to relieve Gilbert and the right-hander retired Deacon Liput to close out the inning.

Florida's Moss left the game after pitching a career-high six innings and recording a career-best seven strikeouts.

"It was a good all-around day for me," said Moss. "I felt like I could go all nine. My arm has never been healthier. Every pitch I was throwing was honestly better than my high school stuff. I think I have progressed enough to start any game and continue all nine innings."

Right-hander Dane Dunning took over on the bump for Florida. The Tigers left a runner on base again in the seventh, after Chris Reid produced a double. LSU then called Riley Smith to the mound for the bottom of the seventh and he retired the Gators in order.

Antoine Duplantis hit a two-out single in the eighth and Florida went back to the bullpen, bringing in Kirby Snead, who got the third out to keep the Tigers scoreless.

Florida brought in Shaun Anderson for the final frame. The right-hander gave up a single to Kramer Robertson and then Robertson advanced to second on a wild pitch. Anderson struck out Bryce Jordan and Robertson advanced to third on a Brody Wofford groundout. With the tying run 90 feet away, a Beau Jordan fly out ended the game, sending the Gators back to the championship.

Florida faces No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the SEC Championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT on ESPN2.